A new strain of coronavirus — that can by its nature potentially infect humans — has been spotted in pigs, a new US study says.
The recombinant wild-type and derivative swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronaviruses (SADS-CoVs) were synthetically derived from pigs, which inherently has the ability to infect human host saddling pigs.
In pigs, the virus causes gastrointestinal illness, and it has been noted to have killed 90% of piglets in 5 days after infection.
The newly discovered virus has been found to have the potential to infect not only human hosts but a range of other mammalian tissues.
This novel coronavirus strain in particular is a huge threat to the world’s swine industry.
According to the researchers, the ‘highly pathogenic virus’ most likely might have evolved from HKU2 bat coronaviruses — found in bats in China and elsewhere.
The researchers are calling for newer strategies to battle threats from coronavirus that could wreak havoc like the current COVID-19 is proving.
In the 21st Century, six novel coronaviruses — two human and three swine — have emerged without a trace and spread globally, causing widespread economic and healthcare pressure.
In a controlled lab setting, the researchers synthetically resurrected the virus, and it replicated efficiently in a variety of continuous animal and primate cell lines, including human liver and rectal carcinoma cell lines,’ the study noted.
“Of concern, rSADS-CoV also replicated efficiently in several different primary human lung cell types, as well as primary human intestinal cells.
“Efficient growth in primary human lung and intestinal cells implicate SADS-CoV as a potential higher-risk emerging coronavirus pathogen that could negatively impact the global economy and human health,” the study authors wrote.
The study has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
The study authors have also noted heterogeneous SARS- and MERS-like CoVs circulating in bats in Southeast Asia and elsewhere have the potential to invoke epidemics in humans.
Experts have time and again warned of the perils of factory farming as natural incubators of novel viruses.
The often-pathetic conditions in factory farms are designed to increase production capacity of livestock, with no heed to prevent unhealthy conditions which are haven for viruses and disease-causing pathogens.
It is believed the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 emerged from a wet market in Wuhan, China, notorious for its unhygienic condition and the wide range of wild animals traded there.
Zoonotic viruses, like the novel coronavirus, poses an unquestionable threat to humanity since it is easy for the virus to shift hosts during close contact with the primary hosts as in factory farms and wet markets.
In June, scientists found an H1N1 virus that causes swine flu that has pandemic potential if left unbarred.
The virus “has all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus,” the researchers said about the G4 EA H1N1 comes from the same H1N1 virus that caused the 2009 pandemic, We The World reported earlier.
COVID-19 pandemic has so far infected over 39 million people across the world and has killed over 1.3 million, which is an alarm of awareness, to say the least.